Friday, January 16, 2009

Education Committee Report

The Education Committee is responsible for the First Day School Program of the preschool and school-age children. This year, our work has included:
  • Recruiting and supporting preschool teachers and second adult volunteers during the 9:30 and 11:00 Meetings for Worship
  • Recruiting and supporting school-age teachers during the 11:00 Meetings for Worship
  • Filling in as substitutes for the above roles as needed
Special projects this year include: 1) Updating background checks on all teachers and volunteers, 2) Updating first-aid equipment in the preschool, 3) A small thank-you party for our second adult volunteers, 4) Preliminary considerations for creating a preschool curriculum, and 5) The First Day School students had a bake sale in November, 2008 and raised $22.50. They will donate half of the money to Tent City and half to Paws.

The committee currently has 3 active members, and 1 member who participates as time and scheduling permits. We invite preschool and school-age teachers to be ex-officio members. The Committee has met 12 times since the last committee report (Aug 2007). The Committee has seen many changes this year, affecting our children, teachers, and adult volunteers.


Children in the meeting experienced two major changes this year. First, the Committee implemented a change in how children participate in Meeting in November 2007. Both preschool and school-age children now return to their parents in the Meeting room at the end of Meeting. We believe that this change has given First Day School a more visible role in the Meeting. When children enter the Meeting room at the end of Meeting, it both encourages attenders to connect with the children and participate in their Quaker upbringing, and enables attenders to easily connect children with their parents, making Meeting a safer environment for children.

Second, the Committee decided after much deliberation to change from preschool at both 9:30 and 11:00, to only offer preschool during 11:00 in June 2008. For many months prior to this change, Education Committee was having difficulty finding second adult volunteers to participate in the 9:30 preschool. Also, the 9:30 preschool has sporadic attendance. The change has taken a large burden off of the Committee, and as far as we are aware, has not negatively influence the Meeting.


In recent years, pre-school teachers have been Quest interns and we lose their services at the end of each year. Since the last report, Rebecca F taught our preschool program until September 2008, and Megan J and Riana H are currently teaching. They all have been wonderful with our preschoolers. The teaching staff of the school-age children has seen many changes over the last year. We are very grateful for the time and effort Carole I, Katherine S and Delilah L put into the children's program and were very sad to see them go. Bob E and Polly K have thankfully just volunteered to replace our departing teachers, and will join Kathy K and Helen K in teaching First Day School once a month.

Adult Volunteers

Since Jan ‘07, second adults in the preschool now volunteer for the same day of the month, on a recurring basis. This change has taken a lot of burden off of the Committee and has reduced the number of times we need to fill in as substitute second adults. Our second-adult volunteers are a vital part of our children's program and we are ever grateful for their participation.


UFM budget for stipends for school-age teachers and preschool teachers for our First Day School and for modest program costs for equipment and materials. Teachers in the school-age group have not accepted any payment in recent years. We have been paying stipends to preschool teachers.